Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Netherworld III: Once Bitten, Twice Dead

Zombies, anyone?

     I asked Dan, “So what will happen if he’s a zombie?  I take it that will be hard to fix or everyone wouldn’t look so freaked out.”
     Dan started to reach for me again and stopped himself.  It’s tough remembering the restrictions a physical body puts on you when you’re used to being a ghost.  He had to settle for giving me his most comforting yet concerned look.  “If he’s a zombie, then his soul is gone.  He can’t be fixed.”
     “You mean … he’ll stay like that?  Just an empty body?”  I looked over Dan’s shoulder at the the man, my stomach doing a slow, sick drop.  Oh, this couldn’t be happening. 
     Dan spoke carefully, as if to a child.  Normally I get ruffled if I’m condescended to, but in this case, I knew it was because I was not only clueless but ready to be upset.  It turned out I had plenty more to get upset about.
     “Zombies are dangerous creatures, sweetheart.  If his soul is gone, he’ll have to be – his body will have to be destroyed.”
     I tore my gaze from the too-still body.  Gerald was starting to shake as he stood next to his friend, and I was reminded of how good shifter hearing was.  Though Gerald wouldn't catch my end of the conversation, he could probably hear Dan speaking through Jason.
     “Destroyed?  As in killed?  What the heck, Dan?”  My voice was rising.
     Dan swallowed.  “A zombie is like an automaton.  All it knows is what its body tells it.  If it’s tired, it stops where it is and goes to sleep.  If it’s hungry, it grabs the nearest thing and eats.  And I’m not talking a cheeseburger and fries from the nearest drive thru, baby girl.”
     A shudder ran through me and I went colder than cold.  “People.  You’re saying he will eat people.” 
     “Zombies prefer fresh meat.  So fresh it’s still breathing.”
     I felt ill.  Again my mind insisted, this can’t be happening.  But apparently, it was. 
     “I guess he’s not hungry then,” I said weakly.
     “Not yet.”
     “Who’s going to kill him if he’s a zombie?”  My gaze went to Gerald.  The werepanther was tough and bad to the bone, but no way the big man would be able to kill his best bud.  I looked at Tristan and Patricia next, who stood to one side, their predator faces as sad as vampires could get.  I really wanted to think my sweetie and his sister would find it too difficult to destroy someone who was ready to take a stake for them. 

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